Hockey fans interested in seeing some high-end coaching in a European discipline should stop by the Sicamous District and Recreation Centre in July.
From July 8 to 20th, the arena will be home to a Hockey Development International (HDI) individualized training program – an elite camp for primarily major junior players.
“There’s one kid off the Junior B team that we’re going to have out,” says Ryan Parent, one of the coaches with HDI, as well as head coach/director of the Lloydminster Junior A Bobcats and former Salmon Arm SilverBacks coach.
Otherwise, said Parent, attendees will largely be out of the Western Hockey League – players “who drafted fairly high in the bantam draft.”
“Those are the types of guys that will be in this. But we may have a couple of local kids,” said Parent.
Two coaches are being brought in from Europe for the camp. What they’ll bring to the ice, says Parent, is a strong focus on skill. Petr Studnicka, director of coaching with the Czech Republic Ice Hockey Federation, is one of them.
“As well, we’ll have the assistant coach of Sparta Prague, the junior team in Prague, and those two coaches will be leading and facilitating training there, so it’s an opportunity for players to be exposed to some really high-end coaching and work out some of the kinks in their game,” says Parent, who will also be in attendance, along with current ’Backs assistant coach Branden West, and other coaches.
Asked why HDI is bringing the program to Sicamous, Parent credited rec centre manager Wayne March for getting the ball rolling, booking the ice time and making it happen.
Parent says anyone is welcome to stop by the arena and check the camp out, adding they’ll be taking the 14th off.